Friday, January 27, 2012

This Day in History–MOZART

Mozart.  Seldom in history does one name instantly define who you are speaking about, especially in the performing arts.  Madonna tries, but more and more she is becoming irrelevant.  But Mozart… there is a name that has endured for hundreds of years.  The only one I can compare him to is Beethoven.mozartcolor

Born on this date (27 January 1756) in Salzburg, Mozart was a prolific composer – writing operas, piano concertos, sonatas, symphonies, and string quartets and quintets.  You know when you have a category in your repertoire entitled Childhood Symphonies (of which he wrote more that 40), you are something special.

MozartHe even has a liqueur named after him, although I am not a huge fan of it.  I’ve had the Mozart Gold several times in Germany, and it always lead to something bad – usually with me inflicting some type of unusual bodily harm unto myself.  Oh well.

This wouldn’t S&B without some other meaning behind him, and in this case….it is the Mozart Haus in Augsburg. 

Home of the “First Mozart Ancestor”, David Mozart, and birthplace of Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang’s Father), this house was donated to the city of Augsburg by the Hasen Brewery in 1939 and is now a museum and memorial to the Mozart Family. 

Mozart HausThis home is actually special to me, as I saw it almost every day from 1992 – 1995, when I was frequenting an Irish Pub (Murphy’s Law) that was literally a stone’s throw away “Auf dem Kreuz”.

I would take the “Stass” or drive past…and it always held a bit of wonderment, knowing the history of the building.  The above picture is how I remember it – pastel colored and unassuming, with a small stone plaque above the first floor window – not the guady red it is now with the large painting out front.

Of course, having a personal liqueur and a brewery saving your ancestral home AND having a museum near on of my favorite bars  is cool and all – but when you have a song written about you in German and it becomes the Number 1 Song in the US (March 29 1986)…then you know you are something.

Here are the voiceover facts from the US Release of “Rock Me Amadeus”-

1756: Salzburg, January 27, Wolfgang Amadeus is born.
1761: At the age of 5 Amadeus begins composing.
1773: He writes his first piano concerto.
1782: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart marries Constanze Weber.
1784: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart becomes a Freemason.
1791: Mozart composes The Magic Flute. On December 5 that same year, Mozart dies.
1985: Austrian rock singer Falco records "Rock Me Amadeus"!

So raise a glass to Brother Mozart (yes, I am a Freemason too) – who knows what the world would have been like without his music.

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